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ASI: Resolution to disclose sex offender IDs

By | August 29, 2013 | News (2)
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Senators Daniel L. Ward (left) and Justin Whisten speak at the first ASI meeting of the semester Wednesday Khlarissa Agee/The Collegian

A resolution submitted for consideration to Fresno State’s Associated Students, Inc. called for all sex offenders to be identified on campus.

Neil O’Brien, the senator for the college of health and human services, said Wednesday at the first ASI meeting of the semester that the goal of his resolution is to bring full awareness to students on the campus’ safety. O’Brien said he wants the campus police department to institute a policy of full disclosure of information about students or staff who are registered sex offenders.

“Disclosing the information of registered sex offenders is something the students have the right and ought to know about,” O’Brien said.

This resolution, O’Brien said, is controversial because it might adversely affect the image of certain campuses in California.

“This is a difficult decision to have because we’re talking about the university image,” he said. “To me, it’s about principles. We want to disclose this information because it’s the truth, it’s the right thing to do and it affects the safety.”

O’Brien said he is not only concerned for Fresno State students, but also for the children in daycare on campus and the University High School students.
“How many sex offenders are we going to allow on campus? There’s a significant reason to do this,” O’Brien said.

The resolution will be reviewed by the ASI legislative committee at the next meeting on Sept. 11.

Homecoming Rally

A pep rally will wrap up homecoming week on Oct. 19. ASI President Moses Menchaca announced that the theme for this semester is, “Throwback.” It is based off themes from the 1980s and 1990s.

Menchaca said multiple organizations on campus are involved in planning homecoming week.

ASI plans to budget $10,000 to invite rapper Anthony “Tone Loc” Terrell Smith, known for his singles “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina,” as the performing artist, said vice president of financial affairs Rebecca Rosengarten said. The committee requested about $22,600 from the reserve fund to cover expenses for the week-long event.

“We have to pay someone to bring out the stage, lights, electricity,” Rosengarten said. “That’s why we budgeted high. We’re hoping to do this at the [Fresno State] Amphitheater, where there’s a stage if they let us, or possibly another stage. So that’s a very high rough estimate, but that’s the max amount we’ll most likely be spending.”

Greek Concerns

Jason Oh, senator of greek affairs and also a member of Sigma Chi, said there is support for the decision to postpone “Rush Week” until Sept. 23, but some people worried it will do more harm than good.

Oh said the decision to give new students time to adjust to college life and learn more about fraternities and sororities might cause excess drinking to make up for lost time.

Also, he said Greek fraternities believe that business fraternities were not given the same treatment. He said during his fraternity meeting on Monday, the question of double standards was brought up.

To get answers for his question, Oh said he plans to bring this issue to Dr. Paul Oliaro, vice president of student affairs.

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6 Responses to ASI: Resolution to disclose sex offender IDs

  1. Dan says:

    I hope ASI gets advice from legal counsel before pursuing this any further.

    According to the Attorney General’s website, sex offender info can only be used to protect specific person(s) at risk. The information can not be used to affect a registrant’s employment or education. Persons who improperly use information are subject to civil damages and a restraining order.

    ASI resolutions, thankfully are not binding upon the administration. While I support the campus police releasing information in a case of a specific person at risk, the “shotgun” release of information will create more problems than benefits.

  2. Neil O'Brien says:

    I wish folks would read the resolution prior to making “shotgun” assumptions and statements.

    The resolution takes the the position of supporting “full disclosure” policies and legislation with respect to the presence of Sex Offenders on the Fresno State campus.

    The law only provides Law Enforcement officials discretion AND IMMUNITY from damages as a result of releasing sex offender info to protect those persons “at risk.” (See PC 290.45, and PC 290.45(d)(1))

    “When a peace officer reasonably suspects, based on information that has come to his or her attention through information provided by any peace officer or member of the public, that a child or other person may be at risk from a sex offender convicted of a crime listed in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 290.4, a law enforcement agency may, notwithstanding any other provision of law, provide any of the information specified in paragraph (4) of this subdivision about that registered sex offender that the agency deems relevant and necessary to protect the public, to the following persons, agencies, or organizations the offender is likely to encounter” AND.. “Any law enforcement agency and employees of any law enforcement agency shall be immune from liability for good faith conduct under this section.”

    Secondly, If Dan would have read the ASI resolution he would realize that the proposed resolution is requesting a change in the law to allow ordinary citizens the benefit of disclosing information when Law Enforcement fails to publicly disclose information and/or fail to recognize the risks associated with allowing sex offenders to be present on the same property as minors (considering the dynamic characteristics of a university community).

    While ASI resolutions are non-binding and they merely take a subjective position on relevant issues affecting the campus community, this resolution is important because Fresno State has (1) underage students living in the dorms, (2) some students are required to take classes at night and do group projects with other students whom they are not familiar with whom may be convicted sex offenders, and has (3) a high school and daycare center where children learn and play which are a few of the MANY great reasons why FULL DISCLOSURE OF SEX OFFENDERS IS NECESSARY! Again, folks like Dan would be aware of all of this mentioned above if they simply read the resolution.

    It is sickening to know that there are old Creeps like Dan that stalk the campus community and aim to shelter and protect sex offenders enabling them commit more crimes against Women whom are Fresno State students. Go figure that a person like Dan would be happy to see a guy like Fidel Tafoya back on the campus molesting and harassing students– rather than take a sensible approach to the issue by agreeing that “full disclosure of sex offenders is a reasonable solution to this problem and The Fresno State Community has a right to know about this information.”

  3. Trevor says:

    Dan,
    Wouldn’t you consider high school students and children in day cares on the campus “at risk”? The state gives too much leniancy to criminals at the expense of the average citizen. There’s a reason these people are convicted sex offenders, there’s no reason ANY average citizen within a certain radius of them shouldn’t be considered “at risk”.

  4. Dan says:

    Unfortunately Neil, the draft resolution was not available to read because ASI fails to post their agendas on line. My comments were based upon the news story.

    Unfortunately the resolution could expose ASI to grave liability if it was implemented and the information was used illegally to harass a registrant. As I said before, I hope legal counsel has provided advice.

    Neil, I suggest you desist from the personal attacks. I didn’t attack you. If they occur again I will have no problem discussing them with the appropriate University authorities.

  5. Dan says:

    Question for Neil: you mention a Fidel Tayofa and Madden Library. How would’ve your idea prevented Tayofa’s activities? He is not a student or university employee. Personally, I prefer that the University Police decide what information, if any, is released in specific situations-they have the expertise. By the way, I do hope the local police start using drones eventually :-).

  6. Neil O'Brien says:

    Dan,

    ASI is a transparent organization which contrary to your belief, follows Gloria Romero requirements by posting its agenda 72 hours prior to meetings. We post these agendas online and also have live video streams which are uploaded online for public viewing on Ustream. At the present time we have a senate recorder vacancy and recently hired a new PR coordinator–which means that even though the most recent agenda has not been uploaded on the site yet, the agendas are still posted outside the hallway of the ASI offices for students, and they are available to the public on a hard copy when members of the public attend our regularly scheduled senate meetings. I am also unaware of any member of the public or student whom has been denied access to view an agenda or proposed resolution by merely requesting said agenda or resolution via email. Lastly, the resolution which was drafted and submitted to ASI is posted online via Facebook. Needless to say, you have many options to access the information you state is not available.

    The proposed resolution does not expose ASI to any liability because it is merely taking a position on an issue which you prefer ASI leave alone and not touch. Unfortunately for you, many students feel otherwise that this is an issue worth discussing because the rate of recidivism of Sex offenders is 37% and the university’s very own Violence Prevention Project states that sexual assaults on women are more likely to occur on campus than off.

    With full public disclosure of sex offender information on the campus, students and faculty would become fully aware of those whom they may encounter while visiting Fresno State in addition to being conscious of the risks posed to them by the presence of sex offenders being present on campus property. Disclosure= prevention= less crime= a safer campus= a better Fresno State.

    Let me put it you to this way Dan– Fresno State is a University, not a criminal’s sanctuary.

    If you have an issue with anything that was mentioned here or prior, then I welcome you to contact university authorities. I know you are not the first, nor will be the last person to take issue with my activities on the campus as there are many around here have any issue with anything I say or do. So join the club!

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